> Avoid disposables. Instead, use dishes, utensils, glasses and serving dishes made of glass, metal or sturdy plastic that can be washed and reused year after year.
> If you use a caterer, ask that they provide reusable dishes; or, biodegradable paper plates and utensils they can take back to their kitchen’s compost barrel.
> Take advantage of the delicious food available locally: pears, apples, hazelnuts, and much more. Buying regionally grown food reduces CO2 emissions and supports the local economy.
> Consider your guest list when preparing or ordering food so you’ll have the food people most enjoy in the right quantities.
> Put recycling and food waste boxes or buckets in plain sight where guests can easily see and use them.
> Donate unopened food and beverages, and any leftover food prepared in a commercial kitchen. See Metro’s Fork It Over Web site for information.
> Ask guests to bring Tupperware containers for taking home leftovers.
> Use the same decorations year after year, such as pinecones dusted with glitter, colorful ornaments and serving baskets.
>Recycle party platters purchased from delis and grocery stores. (They aren’t acceptable curbside, but there are local recyclers and a few grocers that accept them. Check Metro’s Find a Recycler website or call 503-234-3000.)
> Celebrate community. Get friends together to volunteer at the Oregon Food Bank or at a local shelter; coordinate a blanket or coat drive; make food baskets for gifts.
Here are local resources to help you plan your own waste-free holiday celebration.
Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
Sustainable food resources
Green catering resources
Recycling at home
Fork It Over! food donation program
Waste-wise holiday tips